Manchester sextet FOLKS are truly “havin' it” this year! After a particularly prestigious live slot on Radio 2 and with forthcoming support slots for Noel Gallagher & Miles Kane on their current UK tour, their 2012 debut LP ‘I See Cathedrals’ holds great promise.
With classic song writing, emotive vocals and irresistible melodies already mentioned amongst the media, they’re surely worth every last bit of this escalating and infectious adulation which seems to surround them.
In all honesty, I’ve already seen them live (review here) and I’m happy to report that they get my vote for band most likely to make it next year; I’m certain they’ll get yours too when you hear them. Anyway, rattling aside, here’s my interview with Scott and intermittent fellow band members...
AS: When you take aim with your peashooter/pellet gun/sniper rifle, you’re aiming at whom?
SA: The Government, Bankers and Politicians.
AS: Do politics have a place in music?
SA: They should be central & at its heart. In an age where artists work for so little reward, will we ever have another Lennon? Gil Scott Heron? Public Enemy? Shawn Fanning was tripping and clearly unaware of the consequences of making music free - Don't let programmers or scientist make decisions - it doesn't work.
AS: Have you ever been conned into or out of something?
SA: All the time.
AS: Where do you go when it all gets too much?
AS: Is bedtime more half nine with a half read paper or more half four with fully red eyes?
SA: Fully Red Eyes
AS: What do you do with any ‘you’ time?
SA: Music, nothing else.
AS: What’s the best / your favourite music video?
SA: Colorama- Candy St.
AS: If you were a musical instrument what would you be?
SA: Distortion Pedal?
AS: Who would be your dream collaborator?
AS: What’s the last gig/concert you went to?
SA: Sarabeth Tucek at the Castle Hotel, Manchester.
AS: What’s ‘love at first sight’ all about then?
SA: It's true- it happens every day.
AS: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
SA: The ether.
AS: Care to share any regrets, missed opportunities or things that might’ve been?
SA: I was born on the wrong continent, I think, just like how people get born in the wrong body / gender. I'm more than happy having been born at St. Marys in Manchester but it should have been somewhere coastal and warm.
AS: Were /are you aware of your escalating popularity?
SA: We made a few more friends in Scotland after last weeks gigs in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Rough Trade sold a few CD's at Green Man following our performance on the Far Out Stage.
AS: Will your past come back to haunt you or will karma be kind?
SA: I've never killed a fly so I hope not.
AS: Where do you most enjoy playing live?
SA: I want the greatness of the rehearsal room to work on any stage we play.
AS: Why? What's your biggest why question that mystifies you most?
SA: I watch what they are doing at the CERN particle accelerator with a keen eye, since they are messing about with reality at an atomic level. I don't trust scientists because most of them only use one side of their brain. Few are gifted with the power of speech like Brian Cox. I wrote Four & 20 Blackbirds from our album about this.
AS: What influences your sound above all else?
AS: Where do you sit in the grand scheme of things?
SA: Somewhere to the left, slightly out of frame.
AS: Why the name (not your christened name of course)?
SA: George Bush. He tends to say it hell of a lot and to our amusement too. Etymologically speaking, we like it because it stems from fulka, the German word meaning army of people... we might use that for our anthology LP title!
AS: Who’s the most likely to go solo or crazy?
SA: (Bassist) Harry Gumery; he’s fast developing a female fan base.
AS: Has he made the most of that yet?
SA: Yeah, he’s such a geezer though, taking it all in his stride. There were some ladies surrounding him the other night, trying to get him out of his kit to promote something or other!
AS: I understand Harry and Will had a run in with the police; how did that pan out?
SA: They were dropping some recording gear off at the studio at something like 5 in the morning and they set the alarm off. The police didn’t believe them at first, but after 10mins detention they were free to go.
AS: Any choice epitaphs or famous last words for which you’d like to be quoted?
SA: I'm a hypochondriac so how about paraphrasing the message on Spike Milligan’s grave, 'I told you I was ill'.
AS: What makes you better than everyone else?
SA: We're not better than anyone else, just different. Let's celebrate diversity. Peace out. So, in answer, humility.
AS: When do you plan to take over the world?
SA: Manjana. Always tomorrow. It's always tomorrow.
AS: What changes can we expect with your latest outing?
SA: It's our debut album and there are six of us, so there's more for people to see and hear. We're touring extensively, including support slots with Miles Kane and Noel Gallagher.
AS: Are you all agreed/in control of the formats for your releases?
AS: Wish you were doing anything else with your time other than music?
SA: A holiday would be good but that can wait.
AS: Who were your heroes as a teenager?
SA: Timothy Leary, J G Ballard.
AS: What do you think of the paparazzi?
SA: First to the scene of the accident, the cause of the accident, the accident. We live in the society of the spectacle where everyone is a voyeur. For the record, I have no interest in this.
AS: What music are you listening to of late?
SA: Deerhunter, Sarabeth Tucek, Colorama and Dr Dre.
AS: Any message for underachieving or odds-facing musicians out there?
SA: Careful what you wish for.
AS: Any career highs or lows you care to share?
SA: High - Working at Toerag Studios on songs, working with John Leckie, working with Luther Russell, the rehearsal room last Friday. No Lows - I manage to process those out with Scientology techniques.
AS: Oh my god I’m so jealous- what’s John Leckie like?
SA: Intelligent, funny, handsome and above all else, experienced. Everyone knows him as the guy who recorded the Stone Roses and Verve debuts and Radiohead’s the Bends, but he was involved in the whole Plastic Ono Band scene with John Lennon and he even worked with Syd Barrett. The guy’s a legend.
AS: Okay, now before you start to think you got away with it- scientology- WTF?!
SA: Ever hear of John Sweeney, the journalist who basically got a grilling from the scientology lot after he filmed a documentary? They followed him everywhere, apparently tried to brainwash him and eventually he cracked on TV. WOW! We often passed by the centre in LA, but never got chance to call in... Did you know their women aren’t allowed to scream during child birth?!
AS: Do you enjoy playing live or are you more at home in a studio?
SA: I love to play live before an audience and it's a thrill when someone loves a song. Nothing beats performing, though. Recording is more solitary, a journey into nothingness.
AS: Your career defining dream moment would/will be what?
SA: Headlining Bohemian Grove, Ca.
AS: Know of any upcoming bands that are destined for greatness?
SA: Colorama, Sarabeth Tucek.
AS: How important do you feel visuals are in relation to music (I like your ski goggle wearing JFK image particularly)?
SA: One and the same - I'd struggle to imagine The Beatles without the cartoons. As for the JFK thing, we found that in copy of Ambit magazine, a mag full of cool graphic images- something we’re big fans of, which has been going since the 60s.
AS: What’s been the highlight of your year?
SA: Green Man, opening the Far Out stage.
AS: I’m sure you’ve done a few but which gig has been your best?
SA: Radio 2 last Saturday, hosted by Noel Gallagher. We performed 'Avalanche', our free download (out now!) and Pink Floyds 'Fearless'.
AS: I never got on with Pink Floyd; do they beat the Velvet Underground (who I love)?
SA: Oh, tough one (and after much deliberation); it has to be Pink Floyd, although the VU imagery was awesome, what with Andy Warhol and all.
AS: Any forthcoming plans for you / the band?
SA: Album out early 2012.
AS: Is there more pressure playing live with a band than there is playing solo?
SA: Love both.
AS: Are you unlucky in love and if so, why?
SA: I was - until I watched Shampoo starring Warren Beatty and picked up some technique.
AS: Best song, movie OR album ever?
SA: Stevie Wonder 'You & I', film would be 'Harold & Maude' which I’ve just seen and album Dre 2001... or Revolver.
AS: Where did you sleep last night?
SA: My bed - it's been a while with tour dates and some American Musicians invading my house and using it as a base while they tour.
AS: What’s your secret vice... what are you a sucker for?
SA: Tobacco, they got me hooked.
AS: What makes the world go round?
AS: Am I right in thinking you’re a fan of LSD and the whole sub-culture scene then?
SA: BEWARE JOURNALIST!!! From what I understand it can be enlightening and really influence your perspective and yes, your music too. We passed by a clinic in LA which offered 15 minute trip sessions on something called Ayahuasca which the Amazonians used for their ‘sight-seeing’. Maybe we’d do it, but I hear that people have collective trips and see the same things like little green men climbing all over, and that would be weird!
AS: Where’s the place to be?
SA: In a moment.
AS: What’s your weak point?
SA: I fractured 2 vertebrae in my neck last year digging holes in Blackburn, Lancashire.
AS: Which instrument does it for you most?
SA: So long as you can get a tune out, anything. I've been using an Omnichord, an acoustic guitar and a piano of late.
AS: What inspired the LP title?
SA: Groucho Marx wanted to take LSD and asked a friend - counter culture writer and maverick, Paul Krassner, to get some. At a Beverly Hills mansion, they sat in the dark with their eyes closed for an hour, listening to Bach's cantata no.6. Marx finally opened his eyes and opined 'I See (Gothic) Cathedrals', hence I See Cathedrals.
AS: Are you a good dancer and can you prove it?
SA: In my own mind at least. What is there to prove? I'm a great dancer.
AS: What kinds of music (if any) do you dislike the most?
SA: The shit people have on in cars, always at the traffic lights. You may know it, it goes, boom, boom, boom, boom.
AS: Where will you retire to when you're tired of comeback concerts?
SA: Somewhere on the West Coast of America.
AS: When will the world end?
SA: 2012, so we don't have long, huh?
AS: Who’s the main driving force or do you work as a team?
SA: Without each other, we're nothing.
AS: How important are the single / album charts?
SA: Albums are more important nowadays unless you're Rhianna or Katy Perry.
AS: What revival would you most like to witness?
SA: A revival of good manners would be especially lovely. Everyone's a bit narky these days.
AS: Which era would you have been born in ideally?
SA: Right here, right now.
AS: Are exercise and diet important to you?
SA: No / Yes
AS: If you could protect and save 1 thing in the world, what would it be?
SA: Don't go near the water - Oceans, rivers, lakes and streams (all the same thing, right?)
AS: Who’s the most gifted person alive today?
SA: Featherbeard, an LA based musician.
AS: Have you got any famous relatives and if so, who are they?
AS: Does complaining accomplish anything?
SA: Not anymore - it makes matters worse. Think more beforehand so there's nothing to complain about.
AS: Whose autograph do you have and why?
SA: Ryan Giggs. Despite his accomplishments with Manchester Utd, he won't celebrate his success or look back on his career until he's totally finished. I like that.
AS: Which fictional character would you most like to be and why?
SA: Billy Liar or Warren Beatty in Shampoo … Billy for mischievous reasons … and Beatty the same.
AS: Which rules... the digital age or the vinyl/cassette age?
SA: There's no going back I'm afraid.
AS: Which musical style should become extinct first?
AS: Do you have any tragically unused band names you’d like to use?
AS: Was it easy becoming who you are today?
SA: It's an extension of what I was yesterday.
AS: What’s the biggest myth about stardom?
SA: I honestly don't know. Does a record deal transform your life? Not yet.
AS: Cheers Scott (and others)!